Astronomers have a favorite saying that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a spectrum is worth a thousand pictures.
A spectrum is measured by the scientific technique known as spectroscopy, and unless you’re already familiar with the term, this may compel you to ask: what is spectroscopy? The short answer is that spectroscopy refers to the study of the interaction between light and matter. Today, the field of spectroscopy is incredibly broad and advanced, with applications in not just astronomy but also chemistry, physics, biology, environmental science, and even art! (more…)